You know it, the tiredness in the morning from the sleepless night before. Maybe intentionally because you stayed awake for a long time, or simply because you could not sleep. The bags under your eyes in the morning also tell others what happened. The brain does not function properly and as quickly as usual. You feel exhausted and don’t know where and how to start. Did you know that 80% of the German employees sleep badly? If you’re interested in more details about this, please read this article (German only). Sleep and especially insomnia is not just a German issue, it affects us all. In this article, I like to show you some ways that have helped me to achieve a peaceful sleep and what makes it possible for me to gather strength and energy.
Why is it so important for me to draw attention to this? Quite simply, the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation are serious. The risk increases for arteriosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, cancer, dementia, and diabetes. Maybe that’s not even all. But why is it so? Among other things, sleep increases the number of antibodies that specifically trap harmful bacteria and viruses. Secondly, it strengthens the memory of immune defense cells. In the future, they can thus react even better to pathogens. If you want to read another technical article on this, I can recommend this one.
My tips and tricks
If you think I’m going to suggest sleeping pills, you’re wrong. According to a study, they increase the mortality rate. Like any drug, this one has side effects. However, hardly any people know that they are so serious. I show you better alternatives and hope that they help one or the other as well as they helped me. It is important for me to mention that there are many more options, and of course, these tools do not replace a healthy lifestyle.
Ashwaganda is a plant from the nightshade family. It is a natural plant known to help calm and therefore reduce stress. It provides peace and clarity of mind in Indian Ayurveda. Partly, it is also taken during the day. The most common ways of consumption are capsules and powder, which you can either mix in your yogurt or just drink in the evening in your tea or diluted with a little water. The translated name means “smell of the horse”. But this should not scare you off. Ashwaganda is not a stimulant, but it is not so bad, and you get used to it quickly.
St. John’s wort tea
St. John’s wort are herbs with a tremendous effect. They unfold their effect even as a mild depressant but should not be taken with other depressants. Please check with your doctor first if this is the case for you. Maybe one or the other has already discovered it in the forest. If you get the idea to take it with you, be careful. The flowers of the persistent St. John’s wort plant are even poisonous. Either you deal a little more with it or you buy it directly as a tea. You simply brew the herbs with hot water and can drink it in the evening. The taste is also ok and in my opinion a little better than the Ashwaganda. I also just find this ritual so relaxing, drinking a cup of tea in the evening before falling asleep. A noticeable effect encounters after about two to three weeks of consumption. According to reports, there are also allergies to St. John’s wort, so you should start with small doses or consult your doctor directly.
Also lavender, whereby one means here mostly the bloom of the plant, can be enjoyed as tea or as capsules. The essential oils contained help to calm and thus also promote sleep. However, it should not be used continuously for too long because the effect decreases with time. If you have problems with the gastrointestinal tract or mucous membranes, so you should also consult the doctor first or start with small doses. The tea tastes excellent in my opinion. I love both the scent and the taste. Good to know for home gardeners, bees love the scent and also the nectar. For this flower, they come, then even flown to the eighth floor.
There are some things that are already widely known and help to prepare for the good sleep. Therefore, I would like to mention them only briefly.
- Of course, you should avoid food and especially heavy, fatty food in the evening. Your body will be too busy with digestion to fall asleep well.
- Try not to use media like TV or similar in the evening, the harmful thing is especially the light that stops or slows down the natural melatonin release in the body. This makes it harder to fall asleep.
- Furthermore, it’s best not to deal with heavy topics. Among other things, try to switch off from work and also give your head the opportunity to rest.
- Instead, try gentle evening movements like yoga, listen to an audiobook, or just light a stick of incense and leave a book with it.
Light alarm clock
What would sleep be without waking up relaxed? I have thought a lot about whether a light alarm clock is worthwhile, and above all whether it works. Unfortunately, I could not find many insightful reviews about it at that time. What luck that I tried it anyway.
A light alarm clock works as the name suggests, with light. I would say almost all, if not all, light alarm clocks also have a sound or even radio function. However, I have these completely turned off, since I wake up well before eight in the morning anyway. The light itself should reach about 300 luxes so that it is also noticeable. It becomes gradually stronger and stronger until it has reached the highest level. But now let’s get down to brass tacks. The clock cannot work magic. If you are a heavy sleeper, the light probably won’t be able to wake you up. I, too, have managed to get back into a deep sleep phase at my normal wake-up time and thus not wake up at the scheduled time in the morning. However, this only happens to me when I wake up prematurely, for example very early in the morning, and then consciously fall asleep again. You should be aware of this. However, as I said before, this is not a big deal for me. I must also say that it works round about 90% of the time for me and my rhythm has already fully adjusted to it. Especially in dark months, it helps me immensely, and I wake up much more relaxed.
There are many ways to improve sleep. If you have problems, just try them out. Maybe natural remedies will help you and avoid the use of medications. My article should serve as an inspiration and should not be taken as a one-sided presentation. Every person is different, and my experiences will not apply to everyone. If you have any uncertainties about the topic or individual products, I would recommend that you consult a doctor. Otherwise, I hope of course that it will help one or the other to sleep better.
And with the words of Immanuel Kant, I would like to conclude herewith.
Three things help to bear the hardships of life: hope, sleep and laughter.